Vaal Molten Shell

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For the non-Vaal counterpart, see Molten Shell.

Vaal Molten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Vaal, Guard
Level: (1-20)
Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Souls Per Use: 50
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Soul Gain Prevention: 14 sec
Cast Time: Instant
Applies a buff that raises your armour, and takes some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Each second, the skill deals reflected damage to surrounding enemies based on the damage taken by the buff in that second. When the buff is removed, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken by the buff. You cannot have the buff at the same time as any other Guard skill.Base duration is 9 seconds
Modifiers to Skill Effect Duration also apply to this Skill's Soul Gain Prevention
Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
(35-39)% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to 0% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 0
0% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to 30% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 30000
Reflects (300-9000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted
Reflects 0% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage each second,
or when Buff expires or is depleted

Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
CorruptedPlace into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Vaal Molten Shell skill icon.pngVaal Molten Shell inventory icon.png
Acquisition
Drop restricted
Drop level: 4
Vaal Molten Shell can drop from the Vaal Vessels found in Vaal side areas.
Vendor Offer
1x Scroll Fragment
Metadata
Item class: Skill Gem
Metadata ID: Metadata/Items/Gems/SkillGemVaalMoltenShell

Vaal Molten Shell skill screenshot.jpg

Vaal Molten Shell is a vaal spell that creates a shell around the user that grants extra armour and absorbs incoming hits, absorbing more damage with increased armour. Each second or when expiring, the shell deals fire damage around it based on how much damage it has absorbed.

Skill functions and interactions

  • Duration: Skill duration modifiers will increase the duration of Vaal Molten Shell.
  • Critical Strike Chance: Since Vaal Molten Shell deals reflected damage, its damage cannot critically strike.
  • Molten Shell: Molten ShellMolten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Level: (1-20)
    Cost: (8-12) Mana
    Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Cast Time: Instant
    AoE Radius: 15
    Applies a buff that adds to your armour, and can take some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. When the buff expires or is depleted, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken from the buff. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Base duration is 3 seconds
    This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
    Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
    75% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 20% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 10000
    Reflects (100-3000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted

    Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
    1% increased Skill Effect Duration
    Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
    Molten Shell skill icon.png
    and Vaal Molten Shell will replace each other's respective buff when cast, if possible. Due to how guard skill cooldowns are shared you can cast Molten Shell constantly without risking removing your Vaal Molten Shell buff, because if you do so Molten Shell will never be off cooldown while Vaal Molten Shell is active.
  • Order of Operations: Guard skills happen after all other mitigation when receiving damage, so your character always takes 65-70% of damage directly to their base resources (ward, energy shield, life, mana). To reach the damage cap of a level 20 gem, the character would need to heal (.65/.35*30000=) 55714 points of the affected resource(s) over the buff's duration.
  • Soul Gain Prevention is only applied after the buff effect is calculated, so the modifier ChosenChosen
    Prefix
    +(3201-4000) to Armour during Soul Gain Prevention
    will grant additional Armour during and after the skill's effect, but the added Armour will not be taken into account when calculating the buff's damage absorption.

All Guard skills

Below are the 5 skill gems with the Guard gem tag:

GemStr.Dex.Int.Required level
Arcane CloakArcane CloakSpell, Duration, Guard, Lightning, Arcane
Level: (1-20)
Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cast Time: Instant
Requires Level 16Spends a portion of your mana to grant a buff that takes some of the damage from hits for you until depleted. The buff grants added lightning damage based on the amount of mana spent by this skill. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Base duration is 3 seconds
Spends (45-64)% of current Mana
75% of Damage from Hits is taken from Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to Mana Spent by this Skill's effect
Buff grants Added Lightning Damage equal to (10-14)% of Mana Spent by this Skill's effect
This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect

Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Arcane Cloak skill icon.png
N/AN/Ayes16
Immortal CallImmortal CallSpell, Duration, Guard
Level: (1-20)
Cost: (21-36) Mana
Cooldown Time: 3.00 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cast Time: Instant
Requires Level 34Take less Physical and Elemental Damage for a short time. Consumes up to 5 Endurance Charges to lengthen the buff and further lessen Physical Damage taken. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Base duration is 1 seconds
20% increased Buff Duration per Endurance Charge removed
This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
(25-34)% less Elemental Damage taken
(25-35)% less Physical Damage taken
15% less Physical Damage taken per Endurance Charge removed

Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Immortal Call skill icon.png
yesN/AN/A34
Molten ShellMolten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
Level: (1-20)
Cost: (8-12) Mana
Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cast Time: Instant
AoE Radius: 15
Applies a buff that adds to your armour, and can take some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. When the buff expires or is depleted, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken from the buff. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Base duration is 3 seconds
This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
75% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to 20% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 10000
Reflects (100-3000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted

Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Molten Shell skill icon.png
yesN/AN/A1
SteelskinSteelskinSpell, Duration, Guard
Level: (1-20)
Cost: (4-16) Mana
Cooldown Time: 3.00 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Cast Time: Instant
Applies a buff which can take some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Base duration is 1.5 seconds
This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
Buff grants Immunity to Bleeding
0% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take (54-2209) Damage
70% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take 0 Damage

Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
0.5% increased Cooldown Recovery Rate
Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Steelskin skill icon.png
yesN/AN/A1
Vaal Molten ShellVaal Molten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Vaal, Guard
Level: (1-20)
Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Souls Per Use: 50
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Soul Gain Prevention: 14 sec
Cast Time: Instant
Applies a buff that raises your armour, and takes some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Each second, the skill deals reflected damage to surrounding enemies based on the damage taken by the buff in that second. When the buff is removed, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken by the buff. You cannot have the buff at the same time as any other Guard skill.Base duration is 9 seconds
Modifiers to Skill Effect Duration also apply to this Skill's Soul Gain Prevention
Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
(35-39)% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to 0% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 0
0% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
Buff can take Damage equal to 30% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 30000
Reflects (300-9000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted
Reflects 0% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage each second,
or when Buff expires or is depleted

Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
1% increased Skill Effect Duration
CorruptedPlace into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
Vaal Molten Shell skill icon.png
yesN/AN/A1

Strategy

Unlike its non-Vaal counterpart, Vaal Molten Shell will persist for the full duration, regardless of how many times an explosion is triggered. This unique property offers potentially vastly more utility than Molten Shell at the cost of less availability. Because of this, it is recommended that Vaal Molten Shell be saved for an occasion in which it will offer the greatest benefit, such as during an encounter with a unique monster or even a troublesome rare.

Due to the nature of Vaal Molten Shell, it has synergy with support gems that utilize the potentially frequent explosions, such as stun or life leech; however, the rather steep soul cost of Vaal Molten Shell gates the strength of the gem. In addition, while the armour offered during Vaal Molten Shell's duration is first-rate, it may cause conflicts with Cast when Damage Taken SupportCast when Damage Taken SupportSupport, Spell, Trigger
Icon: !
Level: (1-20)
Cost & Reservation Multiplier: 250%
Cooldown Time: 0.25 sec
Can Store 1 Use(s)
Requires Level 38Each supported spell skill will track damage you take, and be triggered when the total damage taken reaches a threshold. Cannot support skills used by totems, traps, or mines. Vaal skills, channelling skills, and skills with a reservation cannot be triggered.Trigger Supported Spells when you take a total of (528-3272) Damage
Supported Skills deal (-70-6)% more Damage
This Gem can only Support Skill Gems requiring Level (38-70) or lower
You cannot Cast Supported Triggerable Spells directly

Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
Supported Skills deal 0.5% increased Damage
This is a Support Gem. It does not grant a bonus to your character, but to skills in sockets connected to it. Place into an item socket connected to a socket containing the Active Skill Gem you wish to augment. Right click to remove from a socket.
.

Items which deal damage to you will also trigger the explosion:

Gem level progression

LevelRequired LevelRequired StrengthArmourDamage taken
from Buff
Damage ReflectionExp.Total Exp.
14165035%N/A00
26206035%N/A841841
39277435%N/A30993940
412339135%N/A743311373
5164111536%N/A2289534268
6205014136%N/A4972583993
7245817136%N/A95714179707
8286720436%N/A169595349302
9327524137%N/A283759633061
10368328237%N/A4539961087057
11409232837%N/A7031281790185
124410037837%N/A10612232851408
134810943338%N/A20658704917278
145211749538%N/A25071107424388
155512354538%N/A25737319998119
165813059938%N/A761135117609470
176113665739%N/A1343790831047378
186414271939%N/A2505214756099525
196714878639%N/A4386943699968961
207015585839%N/A242081178342050139
217215990940%N/AN/AN/A
2274N/A96240%N/AN/AN/A
2376N/A101840%N/AN/AN/A
2478N/A107640%N/AN/AN/A
2580N/A113741%N/AN/AN/A
2682N/A120141%N/AN/AN/A
2784N/A126841%N/AN/AN/A
2886N/A133841%N/AN/AN/A
2988N/A141242%N/AN/AN/A
3090N/A148842%N/AN/AN/A
3191N/A152842%N/AN/AN/A
3292N/A156942%N/AN/AN/A
3393N/A161042%N/AN/AN/A
3494N/A165342%N/AN/AN/A
3595N/A169642%N/AN/AN/A
3696N/A174143%N/AN/AN/A
3797N/A178643%N/AN/AN/A
3898N/A183343%N/AN/AN/A
3999N/A188043%N/AN/AN/A
40100N/A192943%N/AN/AN/A

Gem quality

TypeStats (per 1% quality)Weight
Superior1% increased Skill Effect Duration50

Item acquisition
Questionmark.png

Vaal Molten Shell has restrictions on where or how it can drop. Vaal Molten Shell can drop from the Vaal Vessels found in Vaal side areas.

Recipes

Vaal Molten Shell can be created from the following recipes:

AmountPartDescriptionMeta
6The Magma CrabThe Magma CrabThe Magma Crab card art.png6Level 21 Vaal Molten Shell
Corrupted
Drink deeply of living rock and be as stone, with blood afire.
Level 21 Vaal Molten ShellM
9Volatile PowerVolatile PowerVolatile Power card art.png9Vaal Gem
Quality: +20%
Corrupted
Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.
Random corrupted Vaal gem with 20% qualityA
1The VoidThe VoidThe Void card art.png1Reach into the Void and claim your prize.Random divination card set exchangeA

Video demonstration

Alternate skill effects

Vaal Molten Shell has the following alternate skill effects:

ItemEffect(s)
Invisible Buff EffectInvisible Buff EffectSkill Gem EffectRemoves the visual effects on the player from arctic armour, tempest shield, blood rage, molten shell, plague bearer, phase run, petrified blood, any aura, any blasphemied curse, or any herald gem.Removes the visual effects on the player from arctic armour, tempest shield, blood rage, molten shell, plague bearer, phase run, petrified blood, any aura, any blasphemied curse, or any herald gem.
Stygian Molten Shell EffectStygian Molten Shell EffectSkill Gem EffectYour Molten Shell becomes a Stygian Effect.Your Molten Shell becomes a Stygian Effect.
Viper Molten Shell EffectViper Molten Shell EffectSkill Gem EffectYour Molten Shell becomes a Viper Effect.Your Molten Shell becomes a Viper Effect.

Version history

Version Changes
3.16.0
  • Buff will now grant +50 Armour at gem level 1 (previously 25), up to +858 Armour at gem level 20 (previously 429). Buff no longer grants 20-29% more Armour.
  • Now grants 35% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield at gem level 1 (previously 30%), up to 40% at gem level 20 (previously 35%).
3.14.0
  • Vaal Skill Gems can now only be obtained from a set of specific methods such as Corrupting Gems, Vaal Side Areas, Divination Cards (that specifically grant Vaal Skill Gems) and the Lapidary Lens in the Temple of Atzoatl.
3.11.0
  • Now grants 25 additional armour at gem level 1 (from 60), up to 429 additional armour at gem level 20 (from 1030).
  • Now grants 20% more armour at gem level 1, up to 29% more armour at gem level 20.
  • Now causes 30% of Damage taken from hits to be taken from the buff before your life or energy shield at gem level 1, up to 35% at gem level 20 (from 80% at all levels).
  • The buff can now take Damage equal to 30% of your armour (from 60%), up to a maximum of 30000.
  • Now reflects 300% of Damage taken from buff as Fire Damage each second or when the buff expires or is depleted at gem level 1 (from 100%), up to 9000% at gem level 20 (from 3000%).
  • Now removes and is removed by any other Guard skill.
3.7.0
  • Now has a base duration of 9 seconds at all gem levels (from 5).
  • Now grants 60 additional armour at gem level 1 (from 17), up to 1030 at gem level 20 (from 943)
  • Now creates a buff that can take damage equal to 60% of your armour.
  • Now causes 80% of damage from hits to be taken from the buff before your life or energy shield.
  • Now reflects a portion of the damage taken from the buff as fire damage every second until the buff expires or is depleted.
  • Now reflects 100% of damage taken from the buff as fire damage when the buff expires or is depleted at gem level 1, up to 3000% at gem level 20 (previously stated 1050% at gem level 20).
  • Now has a Vaal Soul generation cooldown of 14 seconds (from 7 seconds).
  • No longer has an added damage effectiveness multiplier or critical strike chance, as reflected damage cannot benefit from added damage, nor can it critically strike.
  • Shares its cooldown with other guard skills (Steelskin and Immortal Call).
3.4.0
  • Now has a Soul Gain Prevention duration of 7 seconds (up from 5).
2.6.0
  • Changed the explosion effect. The new one has better performance.
2.4.0
  • Vaal Molten Shell now causes an explosion when it prevents any physical damage, rather than when it takes any hit.
2.3.2
  • When switching between regular and Vaal Molten Shell, the shield will now visually destroy and recreate itself.
  • Fixed a bug where Molten Shell buff effect bonuses did not apply to Vaal Molten Shell.
2.3.0
  • Vaal Molten ShellVaal Molten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Vaal, Guard
    Level: (1-20)
    Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Souls Per Use: 50
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Soul Gain Prevention: 14 sec
    Cast Time: Instant
    Applies a buff that raises your armour, and takes some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Each second, the skill deals reflected damage to surrounding enemies based on the damage taken by the buff in that second. When the buff is removed, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken by the buff. You cannot have the buff at the same time as any other Guard skill.Base duration is 9 seconds
    Modifiers to Skill Effect Duration also apply to this Skill's Soul Gain Prevention
    Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
    (35-39)% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 0% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 0
    0% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 30% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 30000
    Reflects (300-9000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted
    Reflects 0% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage each second,
    or when Buff expires or is depleted

    Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
    1% increased Skill Effect Duration
    CorruptedPlace into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
    Vaal Molten Shell skill icon.png
    's duration has been reduced from 10 seconds to 5 seconds at all gem levels. Its damage has been reduced at high levels. It does the same damage at gem level 1, up to half the damage it previously did at gem level 20.
2.2.0
  • Cast time reduced from 1 sec to 500 ms.
2.1.0
  • Fixed a bug where Molten ShellMolten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Guard
    Level: (1-20)
    Cost: (8-12) Mana
    Cooldown Time: 4.00 sec
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Cast Time: Instant
    AoE Radius: 15
    Applies a buff that adds to your armour, and can take some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. When the buff expires or is depleted, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken from the buff. Shares a cooldown with other Guard skills.Base duration is 3 seconds
    This Skill's Cooldown does not recover during its effect
    Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
    75% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 20% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 10000
    Reflects (100-3000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted

    Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
    1% increased Skill Effect Duration
    Place into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
    Molten Shell skill icon.png
    could be applied multiple times via Spell Echo.
1.1.0d
  • Vaal Skill soul counts were initially balanced for Merciless difficulty, where there are more monsters. We want them to be easier to use in Normal and Cruel difficulty. We have halved the number of souls required for each skill. In Cruel difficulty, skills require 50% more souls to uses. In Merciless difficulty, they require 100% more (which is the same as before the patch).
1.1.0b
  • Fixed a bug with damage feedback on Vaal Molten ShellVaal Molten ShellSpell, AoE, Duration, Fire, Physical, Vaal, Guard
    Level: (1-20)
    Cooldown Time: 0.50 sec
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Souls Per Use: 50
    Can Store 1 Use(s)
    Soul Gain Prevention: 14 sec
    Cast Time: Instant
    Applies a buff that raises your armour, and takes some of the damage from hits for you before being depleted. Each second, the skill deals reflected damage to surrounding enemies based on the damage taken by the buff in that second. When the buff is removed, the skill deals reflected damage to enemies around you based on the total damage that was taken by the buff. You cannot have the buff at the same time as any other Guard skill.Base duration is 9 seconds
    Modifiers to Skill Effect Duration also apply to this Skill's Soul Gain Prevention
    Buff grants +(50-858) to Armour
    (35-39)% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 0% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 0
    0% of Damage from Hits is taken from the Buff before your Life or Energy Shield
    Buff can take Damage equal to 30% of your Armour, up to a maximum of 30000
    Reflects (300-9000)% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage when Buff expires or is depleted
    Reflects 0% of Damage taken from Buff as Fire Damage each second,
    or when Buff expires or is depleted

    Additional Effects per 1% Quality:
    1% increased Skill Effect Duration
    CorruptedPlace into an item socket of the right colour to gain this skill. Right click to remove from a socket.
    Vaal Molten Shell skill icon.png
    .
1.1.0
  • Introduced to the game.

References

  1. Mark_GGG (May 31, 2016). "New unique sword "Hiltless" Coming in prophecy.". Official Path of Exile Reddit. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
Cite error: <ref> tag with name "VaalMoltenShell" defined in <references> is not used in prior text.


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